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Where do I begin?

It’s the easiest thing to plan an Indian vegan meal because most of our traditional foods are already vegan by default. What’s important to remember is that the amounts of salad/cucumber, vegetables, and pulses should each be at least 25% of the plate. To make it easy:

Salad ¼ plate

Vegetables ¼ plate

Pulses/legumes ¼ plate

Rice/Roti ¼ plate

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you start on a whole plant food diet and especially if you add a lot of raw foods like green smoothies, fruits and salads, make sure you check your blood sugar levels and other parameters every day as you will probably need to reduce medication if you are on any.

So here’s a sample plan to get you started:


For a beverage, replace the regular tea with black tea or better still green tea. Tea with oat milk, soya milk, cashew milk or coconut milk is a great start to transition, too. A better warm drink to have in the morning or any time of day for that matter is a herbal infusion. Good options are pudina (mint), saunf (fennel), elaichi (cardamom), adrak (ginger), kali miri (black peppercorns), lemongrass, tulsi (basil), lemon, etc. Of course if you can, you should replace this with fruits or a green smoothie. The benefits of a green smoothie cannot be praised enough. Green smoothies are instrumental in reversing lifestyle diseases. So, if you incorporate them into your diet, make sure you are checking your blood sugar levels every day so you’re not taking unnecessary medication.

Poha, upma, idli, dosa, uttapam, stuffed parathas, moong or besan chillas, or any of the many breakfast dishes given in the recipe section. If you’re a busy person and are usually rushed in the mornings, it helps to prepare for the breakfast dish the previous night and keep it ready in the fridge. For instance, you could chop the vegetables or roast the semolina and keep it ready. You can also roast and temper the vegetables or semolina the night before. Of course eating fresh cut fruit and vegetables is always best.



Any sabji (lady finger, potato, leafy green vegetable)

Any pulse

Any kachumber

Some suggestions: salads, kachumbar, raitas made with vegan dahi, sprouts, sprout salads or chaat, moong/tur/urad etc dal or other pulses like rajma, chhole, etc, brown rice, or rotis made with whole grains or millets. You could also have khichdi, idli, dosa, uttapam, stuffed parathas, etc. too.


Choose any from the many given in the recipe section


Fruit and four or five unsalted and unroasted nuts, fruit smoothies made with a fruit and coconut milk, chaat made with sprouts/pulses, aalu chaat, salads with peanuts and grated coconut, dhokla, khakra, bhel or paani puri, whole roti rolls stuffed with tomatoes, cucumber and green chutney, etc. If you are on a disease reversal diet, it’s best not to have too many fat containing ingredients like nuts, seeds, coconut, and even peanuts, which is a legume.



Any sabji

Any pulse

Any kachumber

Suggestions are as for lunch.

Dessert (Only Once a Week if You Want to Stay Fit and Trim!)

Choose from the many given in the recipe section. Most desserts contain nuts, seeds and other ingredients that can hamper disease reversal. Please consult a plant based doctor for more information.

It’s a good idea to make it a habit to eat a lot of fruit in a day. In fact, if you can start your day with a green smoothie or fruits, you’ll see the benefit in just a few days. Fruits are our best food as they have so many nutrients that our body needs. Green smoothies are not an Indian dish but we’ve included them in the recipes because they’re so good for health. The chlorophyll in the raw greens is one of the most important nutrients our bodies need. So, do include raw greens in your meals whenever possible. A good way to do this is also to include microgreens in your salads.

It may not be easy to switch to cashew, soya, or coconut milk as we’re so used to the taste of dairy milk. Making masala chai instead of the regular tea helps. Just use a little more masala than you would normally use so the flavor of the soya or coconut is masked. It also helps if you can have light black tea with lemon juice instead of tea with milk. It’s delicious and much better on the digestive system too.

Some easy tips to get started on a vegan diet to improve your health and stay away from vegan junk food that can easily lead to lifestyle diseases too:

  1. Breakfast is an important meal to kickstart your day. Many of us need that cup of tea or coffee to get alert and wide awake. Sadly, both tea and coffee are not Indian drinks and are not good for health, either. Both are acid creating in nature, and as there’s already a build up of acid in our stomachs because of the many hours between our last meal and the morning, tea and coffee can cause havoc with our systems though we may feel that we’ve really gotten rid of that grogginess. It’s best to start the day with some fruit. Think of it this way: if we were to wake up in nature, what would our instinctive action in the morning be? Obviously to reach out to some low hanging delicious fruit! India is blessed with an amazing variety of fruit from bananas to guavas to mangoes and grapes and so many more. To have a real boost of energy and alertness try and eat as much fruit as you can till 12 noon.
  2. Our digestive system is by nature inclined to be alkaline and it’s best to eat as many fruits and vegetables as we can that are more alkaline in nature so we don’t need to tax our bodies to do extra work of neutralizing acidic foods. Do Google to find which foods are more alkaline in nature.
  3. Whole foods, that is with the skin on, no fiber removed or not polished, etc. are nature’s way of blessing us with all the rich nutrients our body needs. These are foods that will help us feel full for a longer time as they are nutrient dense. We also need to eat a lot less when we eat whole foods because the body gets all the nutrients in much fewer calories. So, it’s best to have whole plant food meals as far as possible. With a little thought, most of our traditional dishes can be made whole. We’ve given pointers at the bottom of the recipe wherever that is possible.
  4. Though nuts and seeds are good for us because they contain all the ‘good’ fats, they are still fats! It’s best to eat a minimum of these foods to stay trim and fit. 🙂
  5. We have eyes that see the rainbow colors unlike many other animals. This is nature’s way of attracting us to foods of different colors because there are different nutrients in different colored foods. Always try and eat fruits and vegetables of different colors to make sure you’re listening to what nature is telling you to do!
  6. We’ve kind of lost touch with our bodies and eat the way we do because we’ve been conditioned to do so. Once you start on a whole-food plant-based journey, you’ll automatically start becoming sensitive to the delicious tastes of natural food. Also, you’ll start experiencing a boost in energy levels and your hunger pangs will become fewer and gentler on your system. So another golden rule to also follow is: Eat when you’re hungry!
  7. Another tip: it’s best to eat only one grain at one meal as eating two grains taxes the digestive process. So, either eat rice or wheat and not both together. Of course it’s better to eat millets in place of grains as they are powerhouses of nutrition and cause less stress to the system. Try including sorghum bread (bhakri as it’s called in Maharashtra) in your meal. You can also include bread made with amaranth (rajgira) and finger millets (ragi or nachni). Also soaking grains releases phytic acid, making it more digestion friendly.
  8. If you are not used to having whole foods, then a sudden high fiber intake can cause acidity, so go slow initially. It’s great to have fiber, but it takes time for the body to get used to it.
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